As though picking up where a previous story left off, the Chronicler slides into narrative about Saul’s death and David’s ascent in chapter 10. Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa... You’ve learned about Saul’s family in the genealogies, and about David’s membership in the tribe of Judah and his long line of successors. Now you hear, briefly, about when their lines intersected.
You also learn why Saul was displaced by David: So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse. Commentary can be scarce in narratives, so when an author offers it, we pay attention.
Another way the author subtly reveals perspective is by what he includes, and especially what he excludes. Chronicles offers the unique opportunity to follow its distinct story in light of what you’ve read in Samuel and Kings. Review, if you must, the lengthy dynastic transition in 2 Samuel, then look at the pieces the author gathers for display here. Also notice how often the LORD’s name is invoked as David is crowned, Israel rallies around him, and he establishes his capital in Jerusalem.
Once David is established in Zion, however, the Chronicler returns to the rolls, this time recounting the names and impressive accomplishments of David’s mighty men. Many of these names and events were recorded as an epilogue to David’s story in 2 Samuel, but are inserted at the front of the story here. One of the purposes they serve here could be to anchor David’s kingdom – at this point six-centuries gone – within the scope of history.
Another purpose is offered at the very end of today’s reading. Listen to what is emphasized in the account of David’s coronation: Israel’s singlemindedness to make David king; the allegiance of the Northern tribes; and the sense of celebration and joy in all of Israel.
Our verse for this week is Matthew 5:16: In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
1 Chronicles 10 through 12. Now let’s read it!
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.